1. a strong effect produced on the intellect, feelings, conscience, etc.
  2. the first and immediate effect of an experience or perception upon the mind; sensation.
  3. the effect produced by an agency or influence.
  4. a notion, remembrance, belief, etc., often of a vague or indistinct nature: He had a general impression of lights, voices, and the clinking of silver.
  5. a mark, indentation, figure, etc., produced by pressure.
  6. an image in the mind caused by something external to it.
  7. the act of impressing; state of being impressed.
  8. Dentistry. a mold taken, in plastic materials or plaster of Paris, of teeth and the surrounding tissues.
  9. an imitation of the voice, mannerisms, and other traits of a person, especially a famous person, as by an entertainer: The comedian did a hilarious impression of the president.
  10. Chiefly Printing.
    1. the process or result of printing from type, plates, etc.
    2. a printed copy from type, a plate, an engraved block, etc.
    3. one of a number of printings made at different times from the same set of type, without alteration (distinguished from edition).
    4. the total number of copies of a book, pamphlet, etc., printed at one time from one setting of type or from one set of plates.
  11. Metalworking. a portion of a die having in reverse the intended form of an object to be forged.


  1. an effect produced in the mind by a stimulus; sensationhe gave the impression of wanting to help
  2. an imprint or mark produced by pressinghe left the impression of his finger in the mud
  3. a vague idea, consciousness, or beliefI had the impression we had met before
  4. a strong, favourable, or remarkable effecthe made an impression on the managers
  5. the act of impressing or the state of being impressed
  6. printing
    1. the act, process, or result of printing from type, plates, etc
    2. one of a number of printings of a publication printed from the same setting of type with no or few alterationsCompare edition (def. 2)
    3. the total number of copies of a publication printed at one time
  7. dentistry an imprint of the teeth and gums, esp in wax or plaster, for use in preparing crowns, inlays, or dentures
  8. an imitation or impersonationhe did a funny impression of the politician

late 14c., “mark produced by pressure,” also “image produced in the mind or emotions,” from Old French impression “print, stamp; a pressing on the mind,” from Latin impressionem (nominative impressio) “onset, attack,” figuratively “perception,” literally “a pressing into,” from imprimere (see impress). Meaning “act or process of indenting” is early 15c.; that of “printing of a number of copies” is from 1570s. Meaning “belief, vague notion” (as in under the impression) is from 1610s.


  1. An effect, a feeling, or an image retained as a consequence of experience.
  2. A mark or indentation made by the pressure of one organ on the surface of another.
  3. An imprint of the teeth and surrounding tissues, formed with a plastic material that hardens into a mold for use in making dentures, inlays, or plastic models.

see make an impression under the impression.

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